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#1964612 - 09/26/12 05:15 AM How can I make practice quieter?
MonkeyMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 98
Loc: UK
As the title says really, how can I make practice quieter without going to the extent and cost of a silent system?

The volume is not going to be a problem all of the time, but at the moment the majority of practice time available will be when our two youngest have gone to bed.

Firstly the cloth on the rear of the piano (sorry, don't know it's correct name) is ripped all over and falls apart at the slightest touch so I was thinking about a thicker/heavier fabric on. How much of a difference would this be likely to make and where would I purchase this other than from a tech as I'd like to get this done before tuning, I don't want to risk affecting the tune if done the other way around.

After that, what else can be done if this is not sufficient?

All help and suggestions greatly appreciated, Mark
_________________________
Ferry & Foster upright

Alfred's self teaching - Book 1
Started Mid September 2012
End Sept - Page 39
End Oct - Page ??

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#1964618 - 09/26/12 05:42 AM Re: How can I make practice quieter? [Re: MonkeyMark]
Adypiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/12
Posts: 40
Loc: Surrey, UK
Replacing the felt on the back will make virtually no difference to the volume - but it will look a lot nicer! smile

It sounds like you'd benefit from a "Celeste" kit on your piano.

They're easy enough to fit - the idea is to place a piece of very soft felt between the hammers and the strings which will very effectively reduce the volume from the piano. Most modern uprights will already have this system connected to the middle pedal - the kits use a lever which is located under the keyboard.

The piano would need to be an "under-damped" design (dampers below the hammers) for the kit to work though....
_________________________
Started work at the Blüthner piano re-building workshop in Perivale, UK, in 1989. Self employed since 2000. Learning something new about pianos every day... smile

http://www.hamiltonpianos.com/

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#1964629 - 09/26/12 07:03 AM Re: How can I make practice quieter? [Re: Adypiano]
Goof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 316
Loc: UK
What I have done is to buy a 25mmX25mm PVC right angle section - the big building hardware shops keep all srts of sections.
One cuts this to fit inside your upright; next at both ends cut out two U shaped "grooves". These grooves will allow the vertical leg of the angle to drop over the two "action securing" bolts.
On this same vertical leg one uses a glue to fix a length of "cloth".
The cloth could be a thin felt or for that matter any type material which prevents the hammers directly impacting the strings.
The glue which would work best would be the type which is first spread evenly on both surfaces, and then allowed to dry before presing one surface to the other. I at present have used too thick a felt and I am thinking of changing to some shammy leather.

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#1964635 - 09/26/12 07:31 AM Re: How can I make practice quieter? [Re: Goof]
MonkeyMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 98
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Goof
What I have done is to buy a 25mmX25mm PVC right angle section - the big building hardware shops keep all srts of sections.
One cuts this to fit inside your upright; next at both ends cut out two U shaped "grooves". These grooves will allow the vertical leg of the angle to drop over the two "action securing" bolts.
On this same vertical leg one uses a glue to fix a length of "cloth".
The cloth could be a thin felt or for that matter any type material which prevents the hammers directly impacting the strings.
The glue which would work best would be the type which is first spread evenly on both surfaces, and then allowed to dry before presing one surface to the other. I at present have used too thick a felt and I am thinking of changing to some shammy leather.


That sounds interesting.

Any chance of a picture or two so as to get a better idea as I may well give that a go.
_________________________
Ferry & Foster upright

Alfred's self teaching - Book 1
Started Mid September 2012
End Sept - Page 39
End Oct - Page ??

Top
#1964658 - 09/26/12 09:17 AM Re: How can I make practice quieter? [Re: MonkeyMark]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I never paid it any attention at all. The one thing my parents did to me, that I REFUSED to do to my kids was demand quiet!!!!! Consequently, I require quiet to sleep.

Now, on the other hand, in my first house, my piano was directly up against the kids bedroom wall. When they were babies, I played the piano whenever I felt like it! I made other noises too, so it was not always totally quiet for them. I played the piano while they were sleeping or awake of if I just put them to bed if I felt like it.

It did not take long for them to realize that dad was not going to come into their room and get them just because they woke up "again' from some "noises" whatever they might have been. It's one thing if they pooped their pants but, parents know after a while what is what.... wink

It did not take much time at all for them to just fall asleep through my piano playing and in fact, they grew to love it.

Then there were the times where they could not fall asleep. We all have that problem on occasion. I would go to the piano, start playing it and within 5 minutes, they were sound asleep.....

So, my advice? Don't cater to the kids to keep it quiet for them. They will thank you later. To this day, my kids sleep like well, babies! smile

Today, they are both 22 and 25. If they happen to be home at night sleeping, and if I want to play the piano, they still tell me that they love it when I do that. It soothes them and it never keeps them awake...

Requiring quiet is something that we teach our children but, it isn't necessary...

_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1964953 - 09/26/12 06:29 PM Re: How can I make practice quieter? [Re: MonkeyMark]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
What Jerry said. My daughter adapted to sleeping with the normal noise level of the house. I can't imagine doing it differently, and it certainly wouldn't have helped either her or us.

That said, the contraption that was described sure seems cumbersome. Wouldn't it be easier to just have a Quiet Keys system installed?
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1966680 - 09/30/12 06:58 AM Re: How can I make practice quieter? [Re: MonkeyMark]
MonkeyMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 98
Loc: UK
Sorry its taken so ling to reply.

Thanks Jerry, I think you've got it!

It's funny how I have always just let noise occur so the kids would become accustomed to it, yet for some reason it never occurred to me with the piano. Perhaps because my wife and I are beginners so our "sounds" are not exactly musical.

The other night I was putting our youngest (just turned 1) to bed. As my wife played he closed his eyes and cuddled in for sleep. When she stopped he started to look around for the "music" then quickly closed them again when she continued to play.

So, I think this may well be the way forward!

Thanks All


Edited by MonkeyMark (09/30/12 07:18 AM)
_________________________
Ferry & Foster upright

Alfred's self teaching - Book 1
Started Mid September 2012
End Sept - Page 39
End Oct - Page ??

Top

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